Sunday, March 29, 2009

Biden: "transition" needed (Updated)

Vice President Biden said in Chile that the Administration is not planning to lift the Cuba embargo. No surprise there, but what did he mean by this?

“Obama and I made it clear during our campaign that we thought there’s a need for transition in our policy toward Cuba.”

[Update: Fidel Castro thought Biden meant “an internal transition in our country.” His commentary is here, Reuters story here.]


The Resistance said...

If Barack Obama decides to follow the failed policies of his ten predecessors, then he will fall flat on his face too.

The U.S. embargo is condemned by 185 civilized nations. Only the genocidal Israelis and tiny Palau support the yankee imperialists on this issue.

Anonymous said...

biden is expressing sentiments obama detailed during his campaign; hopefully this means a different look toward cuban policies. no one at this time can talk about the embargo -- you have to walk before you can run. but it is the ability to continue to bring the subject to the forefront helps create consensus for change. it's not the first time American politicians have realized the need for a transition towards cuba, hopefully this time it will succeed.

Anonymous said...

Biden should step it up...stop being afraid of the know-nothing crowd and do what is right, push for end of embargo. (this will, however, only happen, i suspect, in their second term)

Anonymous said...

unfortunately biden continues the political speak revealing true american intentions towards cuba, when he says let the cuban people determine their own fate and live in freedom
translation; America will decide if we agree with how Cuban people will determine their own fate, and America will decide what constitutes freedom. it is the historical perspective the US has had with cuba for 150 years -- as long as you are in our sphere of influence you have decided your own fate; as long as you conform to our political and economic systems you are free. anything else we oppose -- otherwise why would they continue the embargo, why would they demand the Castro's play no part in future cuba, and why would they come up with the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba.
US entered the war of independence to 'free' cuba from spain. and we all know how that ended up. now they want to 'free' cuba from castro, the only true cuban govt in its history. gee, what will happen when cuba is 'free' once again.
fortunately, reality may finally overcome rhetoric. lets see what happens in the next year or so.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:39, very thoughtful post.

While better than Bush, Biden is expressing, even subconsciously, the imperial mindset of USA, particularyl with Cuba.

I am anti-castro as the rest, but, I strongly believe USA should play NO role in 'shaping' future free cuba. Particularly the folks in Miami shoudl be hands off.

We, particularly the right, are 'soft' imperalists, nothing else. Of course, with Cuba its a bit stronger than 'soft' I hope that OB will change this, but its going to be tough. The history and culture of usa are so strongly geared toward our control of the globe.

Our cuba policy has been hijacked by hard right....getting it back to center, even from the Dems, will be hard. We are indeed alone in the world in our stupidity toward cuba

Anonymous said...

"I am anti-castro as the rest..."

As anti-Castro as the rest of who? And as for "we are indeed our stupidity toward Cuba...," every nation has a duty to conduct its own foreign policy, right or wrong. I believe the U.S. should be commended for its focus on the Sovietization of Cuba over the past 50 years.

I think the trade embargo was once the only sensible policy to take regarding the conversion of Cuba into a Soviet satellite. I also think suspending the embargo makes sense at the present time, while still keeping the main focus on human rights. Ending the embargo will help to focus international attention on the main issue: the enslavement of the Cuban people.

Anonymous said...

the embargo was installed before Cuba moved to the soviets sphere, it was simply amplified after the missile crises. The Cold War was a convenient continued rationale for American policy towards cuba. once the cold war ended the US simply manufactured another excuse to continue the embargo etc. American aggression is rooted in historical fact. Castro had little choice but to accept Soviet aid and influence once American made it clear they would not tolerate his national revolution. 'Every nation has a duty to conduct its foreign policy, right or wrong,' unless you are Cuba, then you get punished for it.

leftside said...

Update: Fidel Castro thought Biden meant “an internal transition in our country.” His commentary is here, Reuters story here

I don't think you can assume Fidel got a bad translation or misunderstood Biden's message. As others have noted above. Biden's words (here and elsewhere) are full of hypocrisy and he made plain that the US policy of regime change still stands.

Determining one's fate (as Biden said he wanted for the Cubans) usually means that foreign powers should butt out. Biden made clear that is not in the cards. The 1960 State Department policy of seeking to bring about "hunger and desperation and overthrow of government" remains. So Biden can spare us his tears about the Cuban people and their prosperity.